OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — In a year where hospitality is fighting to get back on its feet throughout the country, here in Wheeling, one program is facing that challenge head on, by giving Ohio Valley residents the skills to excel.
It’s all happening in an ornate building you’ve always looked at but never ventured inside, until now.
The Scottish Rite Building was purchased in September by Roxby Development. And since being built in 1915, the building has been a secret to Wheeling… with this being the first time a group, other than the Masonic Order, is now occupying its halls.
The 80,000-square-ft space will now take on teaching food, beverage, restoration and adventures in elegance.
A New York company, Saira, is backing the permanent hospitality school, that only takes 10 weeks of training to receive a certificate from Saira Hospitality and Cornell Hospitality.
The President of Roxby Development says the purchase of the Scottish Rite Building came about after realizing they needed staff for the Mount Carmel Monastery, they purchased one year ago with a goal to reimagine.
Have been renovating and developing a plan through COVID to convert that into a boutique, hotel, restaurant and bar.Jeffrey Morris, President of Roxby Development
In this first year, 108 students of all ways of life will be funded in-house, which will go to staff the Monastery and the Scottish Rite Operations. From there, developers hope it gains notoriety.
Second year, we’re working on a model that would be funded by way of employers, tax incentives and grants. Because one our core things about the school is that it not charge the students.Jeffrey Morris, President of Roxby Development
An in this endeavor, they hope to not steal away workers from already established hubs.
We don’t see any competitors in Wheeling. We see them as all friends and allies. Our competitors are other cities within a two-and-half-hour’s drive. So, we want to create a higher level of service; a higher level of training.
To not only help our businesses, which we will develop more buildings along these veins in Wheeling, but we want to help all the other local restaurant, bar, and hotel operators to elevate the area in general to be a larger draw for the broader region.Jeffrey Morris, President of Roxby Development
Now the deal with purchasing this building is that the Masons will still meet there for the years to come.
The program is part-time, Monday through Friday. With the start tentatively set for March 15th, per COVID-19. The President says there’s plenty of space in the lavish building so that classes can spread out in smaller groups.
To apply, head here.